Community safety in the Redlands has received a boost with the State Government committing more than $330,000 towards fire trails at Mt Cotton and North Stradbroke Island.
Redland City Disaster Planning Manager Mike Lollback said the community resilience funding came after two years of lobbying by Council, in the wake of the devastating bushfires on North Stradbroke Island in 2014.
“Seventy percent of bushland on North Stradbroke Island was burnt out in January 2014 during the largest bushfire in Queensland’s recorded history,” he said.
“It was an incredibly harrowing time for locals and emergency services alike, who worked around the clock for 16 days straight to preserve lives and property against the ferocious forces of nature and fortunately no lives were lost.
“Preparation is crucial for bushfire management and fire trails help to stop fires spreading.
“Both Mount Cotton and North Stradbroke Island have very high bushfire risks and these new fire trails will provide our emergency services with greater access to inaccessible areas.”
Mr Lollback said Council had worked tirelessly with a number of government agencies over the past two years to lessen the threat from bushfire to local communities while maintaining the natural beauty of these regions.
“On North Stradbroke Island, our emergency services require better planning and coordination for access to the area around Dunwich and Myora Springs,” he said.
“The Minjerribah Fire Mitigation Project takes a balanced approach to bushfire management, increasing the network of fire trails on the island and improving public safety in consultation with the local community to minimise the impact to the island’s unique environment.
“Council will contribute a further $150,000 to the project over the next 12 months to maximise the safety of residents on the island, which will be delivered in partnership with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and the local Indigenous community.”
QYAC CEO Cameron Costello welcomed the announcement, noting it as a big win for Minjerribah.
“The new fire trails around native title lands in the Dunwich area will extend the network of fire trails on the island, building capacity of Quandamooka People in fire management and providing firefighters a better chance of stopping fires jumping East Coast Road and threatening lives and property in the area,” he said.
“This project will draw on traditional owner knowledge and environmental sensitivities to help better protect people, flora, fauna and important cultural sites from the effects of future bushfires.”
Visit www.redlandsdisasterplan.com.au to learn more about disaster management in the Redlands.